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Posted by Wolfgang
Apr 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM


I have used single pane outliners on the Mac(Omni, tree, and I forget how many) and for a variety of reasons have come back to Windows. Actually the reasons is Lion, but also much of the scientific software I use is only available on Windows. I have also used and crimped a huge number of outliners in Windows including inspiration, InfoSelect, and many more.
As I am an academic scientist, I need to collaborate and there is no going away from Microsoft Word. Scrivener is nice but it does not allow in situ use of endnote or of the reference managers. There has been one light, unbelievably flexible,  OPML aware outliner which had used for years and which now has somehow gone down the gurgler. Brainstorm SW was the perfect tool for crunching text and ideas. I have no idea what has happened to this. To forestall possible substitutions connected text does not do the same job, it is too complicated, and does not deal with plain text in the same totally OPML hierarchical way that brainstorm SW did. Furthermore namesakes were an amazingly useful way to see things in a multidimensional way if you’re crunching a lot of ideas. It seems to me that people who previously liked this program of all of sudden decided that as in the pictures of unsuccessful members of the politburo the 2 progressive inventors of the program and their program has been erased. I could not make sense of all of has since claimed ownership of the program; but surely the work of the original authors and their progressive and super useful program ought not to be wiped from the memories and brain cells of us working academic writers.
The silence and wiping out of from history what was and still is software way ahead of its time is a little disquieting. Perhaps modern writers do not need a simple yet superpowerful outliner-I have no idea but I miss this program very much-and it used to play nice with Microsoft Word.
Am I the only one who misses brainstorm SW, or is it verboten to ask this question? As far as I know there is nothing on the market as good as this. The other new single pane outliners do not have a facility to catch clipboard text nor any of the other super features. I think maybe the program was too simple and powerful for anyone to actually like it. Is there any hope that the 2 wonderful programmers to make this program could come back or that there could be some future for something which in my book was better in the early 90s that anything available on any platform today.
Anyway, just wishful pathetic hope for the continuation of another good software seems to have gone that was so super super useful and which other academics aside from me used to rely on.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Apr 15, 2012 at 06:54 AM


Actually, I believe that Brainstorm is still mentioned in this forum fairly regularly, considering that its development has been frozen in time (by the way, it changed ownership some years ago, which explains why David Tebbutt does not pop in the forum himself).

For me it remains an indispensable tool for all the reasons you mentioned, even though I am not an academic. See also this reference from yesterday to a disturbance-free writing environment http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/3931/0/markdown-everywhere I still use Brainstorm with DOS-like yellow text on very dark blue background, similar to what WriteMonkey and other minimalised word processors provide.

That said, I can think of three reasons that Brainstorm is not discussed here as often as it deserves:

- The first, mentioned already: no development under the new ownership, whereas the personal information management world is swarming with innovative tools. Let us not forget that competition is no longer just among Windows tools; much can be done via webware nowadays.

- Second, as information snippets for most of us become “richer”, including formatting, images, tables, as supported by a majority of tools these days, Brainstorm becomes less useful. 

- Most importantly, even in the “good old days” many people did not “get” Brainstorm. A search of the forum for namesakes will find mostly posts by my good self. I have always found them indispensable for organising information—but I have found that most people can’t find a use for them in their workflow. Brainstorm itself with its ‘permanent hoist view’ is not always easy to grasp: see my reference here regarding an academic application and Dr Andus’ response further down http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/3906/

Indeed, I hope that your post will re-spark deeper interest in the programme (also on the part of its current owner), because it remains quite unique.


Posted by Franz Grieser
Apr 15, 2012 at 09:26 AM



Just tried to download BrainstormSW but F-Secure reported that the EXE file contains spyware and adware. :-(


Posted by shatteredmindofbob
Apr 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM


I’m starting to wonder if Windows software in general is dead. Seems like all anyone makes anymore are web apps with pretty limited features.

I mean, what was the last piece of Windows software, PIM, outliner or otherwise worth getting excited about?

That said, I wish the Brainstorm folks would just admit it’s abandoned and open source it or something.


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM


If you haven’t tried Noteliner yet, you might give it a try. It has a lot of built in functions for task management, which, if you don’t need them, might make you think twice about the application. But just as an outliner, it is very fast and easy.


Steve Z.


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